By Shamus McConomy
‘Twas months before Christmas and all through the town
Not a preacher was stirring, not even a church mouse;
The propswere stored in the attic with care,
In hopes that city permits would soon be there;
The congregation were nestled all snug in their pews,
While visions of the annual Nativity danced in their head;
But atheists with their lawyers, and liberals with their flap,
Had just filed paper work to ruin all that
When out at the public park there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the church to see what was the matter.
Away to City Hall I flew like a flash,
To find atheist activists were on the warpath.
They filed their petitions so everyone would know
Their interpretation of the Constitution we should all follow,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But the absence of Christianity this time of year!
The CNN.com article that has inspired this begins: “Every Christmas for the past 60 years Nativity scenes have dominated two blocks of a park on bluffs overlooking the ocean in Santa Monica, California.”
It appears one more Christian public display has been toppled by activist atheists who believe it is there mission in life to eradicate any public display of Christian religious symbolism. I specifically site Christianity because, in that very same town of Santa Monica, a Chanukah Menorah is able to occupy some real estate atop a public building. But according to this crop of atheists the presence of Nativities in public is a direct violation of their civil rights which must be stopped. Maybe these Santa Monica Nativity scenes melt the faces of any atheist who looks into baby Jesus’ eyes, just as the Ark did in the movie Raiders of the Lost Ark. One atheist went as far as to say he has been discriminated against long enough.
As if the mere existence of religious symbols is a form of discrimination. Funny how liberals insist on tolerance for others unless it’s something they themselves do not want to tolerate.
I mention the existence of the public Menorah only to suggest that these atheists- and frankly most atheists- are not against religion they are against Christianity. Otherwise they would be more consistent in there argument against public displays of
religion. They hide behind their bastardized interpretation of the First Amendment which in its entirety reads:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Many people truncate this amendment into two commonly repeated phrases freedom of speech and freedom of religion. In the past two decades liberals and atheists, with the help of activist judges, have effectively replaced “freedom of religion” with “freedom from religion.” The latter of which would be the only way public displays of religion could remotely be considered a violation of a civil right.
To be clear, I didn’t go to law school but I have stayed at a fair amount of Holiday Inn Expresses in my life, so I believe I am uniquely qualified to comment on the First Amendment. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” when viewed from the vantage point of our forefathers, means exactly what it says. No hair-splitting interpretation necessary. In America you can practice whatever religion you choose AND there will be no religion sanctioned by the government. Meaning you would not be coerced into practicing a state religion (e.g. The Church of England).
Many court complaints have suggested the allowance of uniquely Christian symbolism on public property IS an implied form of the government established religion. I say poppycock to that because that would suggest that anything the government does is to be seen as an endorsement. It would be as if Ford brought a lawsuit against the government that it’s stake in GM is the
government forcing consumers to buy GM cars. And I seriously doubt I’ll be purchasing a $500 toilet seat just because
the government does.
What is worse is the attack on Christianity during one of its most important holidays has ventured into the ridiculous. We tap dance around the subject using all sorts of code words like Winter Break, Winter Pageant, Holiday Tree, and Seasonal Flu. I have to ask why must a Christmas Tree be a Holiday Tree but a Menorah is not a Holiday Candelabra.
In reality I’m not easily offended by Happy Holidays et al. I’m not Bill O’Reilly looking to pick a fight with anyone who dares utter a Happy Holidays. If Best Buy wants to say Happy Holidays to sell plasma TVs, it has a First Amendment Right to do so without prejudice. Of course without Christmas there would be no Black Friday. The wise men made sure this would this be a “December to Remember” for retailers and Lexus by bringing gold, frankincense, myrrh (whatever myrrh is). But when people go out of their way to be Scrooges for no other reason then they think their belief system is superior, well I find that discriminatory and against MY First Amendment Rights.
Shamus McConomy is a resident of the Tampa Bay Area where he has spent his career as a lender to small and medium sized businesses. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance from the University of South Florida and an M.B.A. from the University of Tampa. E-mail him at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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